Well, it isn’t a sweep yet, because Cleveland are still in town tomorrow for a four-game “wraparound” series, but it sure did feel good to win three in a row. Today was a beautiful day at the Stadium, not too hot, not too cold, and it never got around to raining. In fact, as the game wore on the sky grew steadily sunnier, just like the Yankees’ outlook.
Freddy Garcia made a bid to be just as good as hamstrung Bartolo Colon. after a dismal outing against the Red Sox, he was at his crafty best, throwing 6.2 innings, scattering 7 hits, and giving up only one run. Boone Logan, Luis Ayala, and Kevin Whelan did the rest. Logan was poised under pressure as he came in with two outs and a man on, then promptly walked Grady Sizemore. The next play let a runner on with an error (A-Rod fielded the ball but threw wide to Cano.) With the bases loaded, and what was then only a 6-1 lead, the wheels could have come off. But Logan got Shin Soo Choo to line softly to Jeter to end the threat. Whelan controlled his jitters much better than he did Friday, walking only one in an otherwise uneventful ninth.
The pitching wasn’t the story today though, really. The offense was. The lumber that has slumbered through the cold months of April and May is finally waking up. The lineup banged out 18 hits today, and nine runs. Jeter had two hits, and they were both RBI hits, plus he sent two balls deep to the warning track that on a favorable-wind-day would have likely been out of the park. In five plate appearances, Granderson was 4-for-4 with an RBI sac fly. A-Rod had three hits, including a key double in the 5th inning’s 5-run rally. Cano, Swisher, and Jorge each had two hits, and Brett Gardner had three hits: two doubles and triple. Curiously, there were no home runs in today’s barrage. Just the good old “keep the line moving” approach.
There were no bench-clearing incidents, no moments of high drama or reversal, no nail-biting, and no one leaving the game injured. Which made it the odd game out when one considers all that has happened this past week between getting swept by the Red Sox, all the beanball warring, injuries to Colon and Joba and so on.
Just a nice Sunday afternoon of baseball.
Other notes from today’s stadium excursion:
Jeter’s hits today were #2,992 and #2,993. One of the beat writers tweeted that it’s been one year and a day since Jeter hit a home run out of the park at Yankee Stadium. (He did have an inside-the-park homer between now and then.) He really did come close today. That first one he hit off Josh Tomlin went straight to dead center, and Michael Brantley caught it with his back to the plate, on the warning track in front of the 408 ft. sign, the deepest spot in the park.
corwin and I spent some time walking around the ballpark before the game today. The line for the museum was too long, so we walked around a bit instead. Today in particular I noticed a lot of women wearing Victoria’s Secret brand Yankees stuff. Yes, in case you haven’t heard of this, Victoria’s Secret has a whole line of “casual wear” (the “PINK” line, which isn’t actually colored pink, sweats and pajamas mostly, as opposed to lingerie/bras) that is themed to MLB teams. Some years ago Bud Selig undertook a study of women’s economic impact in baseball and discovered 1) most ticket-buying decisions are made by the female in a couple or family, and 2) a huge untapped market for merchandising aimed at women. The first thing you saw was the pink jerseys and hats appearing in major league team souvenir stores. This is the next logical step. (Amusingly but not surprisingly, the Yankees are the most popular team by a factor more than two over the next most popular team among Victoria’s Secret shoppers. click to see for yourself). I myself don’t wear pink nor do I shop at Victoria’s Secret, but kudos to Selig for recognizing that both sides of the bread are being buttered.
Beware the hot wings from the NYY Steak Express stand. corwin got 8 wings. They’re large, breaded to soak up maximum hot sauce, and were so hot that even a pepperhead like him had to pace himself eating them. Afterward he even had to go buy a soda to try to cool down. And he missed the entire seventh inning later while, um, paying his dues. This made the new scoreboard promo (along the lines of the French’s Mustard Smile Cam and the 24 Hour Fitness Fan Cam), the Frank’s Hot Sauce Cam, extra funny.
Speaking of both concessions and women’s stuff being pink, they now have the ice cream helmet cups in both blue and pink. I might have to get some ice cream just to say I have a complete collection.
We did not get the Mark Teixeira bat today, as we did not bring a youngster with us. In the moment when the “bat day tradition” of everyone holding up their bats was going on, I really missed Bob Sheppard. His voice was so authoritative when he would instruct the children throughout the stadium to SLOWWWLY and CAREFULLLY raise their bats in the air… that you’d see kids looking around and doing it with great deliberation. After all, GOD just told them to do it that way. Today’s announcement lacked that oomph. It was still fun to see all the kids, though.
One more thing I miss about the old Stadium. There doesn’t seem to be anywhere good for fans to stick up “K” signs. The facing of the upper deck is completely covered with electronic ribbon-board, and many of the “guard rail” areas are mesh or Plexiglas. Sticking them to the wall inside the Jim Beam Club just isn’t the same, you know?
(Did you enjoy reading this blog entry? Please consider buying me a hot dog.)